© Wonders of World Engineering 2014-20   Contents  |  site map  | info@wondersofworldengineering.com

Wonders of World Engineering

Part 8

Part 8 of Wonders of World Engineering was published on Tuesday 20th April 1937, price 7d.

Part 8 includes a photogravure supplement showing modern cranes at work. This illustrates the article on The Modern Crane.

The Cover

“This week’s cover shows a giant crane at Haifa, the new port in Palestine. The recent expansion of Palestine's trade has necessitated the building of a harbour at Haifa, to supplement the ancient port of Jaffa.”

You can read more on this in the article on Palestine's New Harbours; whilst another chapter in this issue describes The Modern Crane.

A giant crane at Haifa, the new port in Palestine.

Contents of Part 8

Salvage Engineers at Work (Part 2)

Water for London’s Millions

The Modern Crane

The Modern Crane (photogravure supplement)

Palestine’s New Harbours

LMS Pacific Express Locomotive

Early Steam Coaches

Across the Andes (Part 1)

The Wooden Patch Fitted to the Berrima

“THE WOODEN PATCH fitted to the P & O liner Berrima by Commander G J Wheeler in April 1917 was built in three sections, each weighing 14 tons. The patch was made to cover a hole caused by a torpedo, and a modification of this method was frequently applied to other torpedoed vessels after the success of this experiment.”

(Page 230)

Water for London’s Millions

Nearly 300,000,000 gallons of water are consumed daily by the inhabitants of the area supplied by the Metropolitan Water Board, in whose various waterworks the water is stored, filtered and sterilized. In no sphere of human activity does the work of the engineer exert a more important influence than in the supply of water to large populations. The chemist’s work is, of course, no less important, but he and the engineer must work in the closest co-operation. A plentiful supply of pure water is the most important factor in the maintenance of  a high standard of health. There can be physical fitness schemes, more hygienic living conditions, more open spaces, shorter working hours and improved places in which to work, but these would be useless without a pure water supply. The larger the supply the more difficult the problems that confront the engineer. This chapter by C Hamilton Ellis deals with London’s water supply. The Metropolitan Water Board controls an area populated by some 7,500,000 people. For each man, woman and child in the area known as “Water London” approximately forty gallons of water are used in one day. The quality of the water used in London is perfect, and the Metropolitan Water Board is famous throughout the world for its wonderful system of supply and purification. It is, however, only in comparatively recent years that London’s supply has been so excellent. Even so late as the Victorian era diseases caused by bad water were common among all classes of the community. It was in 1902 that the Metropolitan Water Board was formed; to-day this great organization controls the water supply of 537 square miles of territory, accommodating one-sixth of Britain’s total population, nearly as great a figure as the combined populations of Norway and Sweden, and nearly a million more than the total population of Australia. This chapter gives a complete description of this great organization and of the part the engineer plays and has played in the supplying of a large city with its water supply.

(Pages 231-236)

Salvage Engineers at Work (Part 2)

The story of the salvage engineer by David Masters, concluded from part 7.

(Pages 229-230)

You can read more about David Masters’ work as a salvage engineer in his book The Wonders of Salvage (1924).

An Electric Overhead Travelling Crane

“ELECTRIC TOPRAIL TELPHERS are overhead travelling cranes generally used for the handling of materials such as coal or coke. Such a crane consists of a grab depending from a bogie which travels along an elevated rail supported by columns at intervals. These two telphers at Moredon Power Station, which belongs to the Corporation of Swindon, Wilts, are fitted with three-rope grabs of 3-tons capacity. The rail is 53 feet above the ground.”

(Page 237)

Reservoirs at Kempton Park

“AT KEMPTON PARK, near Sunbury, Middlesex, a series of large reservoirs stores water for use in the London area. This water is drawn off from the River Thames, and the reservoirs alongside the river form a prominent feature of the lower Thames Valley. The water is treated in filter beds, seen in the foreground, before being pumped into the mains for supply to consumers.”

(Page 231)

The Modern Crane: Photogravure Supplement

“ELECTRIC FLOATING JIB CRANE in Vigo Harbour, Spain. This crane lifts 60 tons at a radius of 49 feet and is fitted with an auxiliary hoist which lifts 10 tons at a radius of

75 ft 6 in. The pontoon is propelled by steam power, which is used also to drive the dynamo supplying current for operating the crane The deck is specially stiffened to take a deck load of 60 tons.”


(Page 243)

Early Steam Coaches

The story of steam coaches which were tried before railways were developed is romantic and important. It was in road transport that the earliest experiments in the propulsion of carriages by steam power first showed signs of success.

(Pages 253-258)

Palestine’s New Harbours

 The recent expansion of Palestine’s trade has been assisted by the work of engineers who have developed large-scale harbour works at Haifa and Jaffa, where the work has included the building of sea walls and the reclamation of land. This chapter is by Harold Shepstone.

(Pages 247-251)

The Breakwater from Ras-el-Kerum

“THE BREAKWATER FROM RAS-EL-KERUM,  a point on the shore, extends for a mile and a half and is the longer of the two arms that enclose the deep-water harbour of Haifa. Quarried stone was used fro the breakwater, the largest blocks, some 12 tons or 15 tons in weight, being selected for the seaward face. Steel skips containing the smaller stone were lifted bodily from the railway trucks by a pillar crane capable of handling 15 tons at a radius of 60 feet and 12 tons at a radius of 75 feet.”

The cover of this issue shows one of these cranes in use.

(Page 247)

LMS Pacific Express Locomotive

Among the most successful British express passenger locomotives are the Pacifics of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway. One of these, No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth, is illustrated below. This engine was built in 1933. The standard engines of this type are four-cylinder simples. The cylinders have a diameter of 16¼ in and a stroke of 28 in, actuated by Walschaerts valve-gear, with 7¼ in travel. The six coupled wheels have a diameter of 6 ft 6 in; the bogie wheels are 3 feet and the trailing wheels 3 ft 9 in in diameter. The boiler barrel has a length of 19 ft 5 15/16 in, with an outside diameter of 5 ft 8 5/8 in at the smokebox end, tapering to 6 ft 3 in. It has a working pressure of 250 lb per sq in. To the total heating surface of 2,937 sq ft the tubes contribute 2,097, the firebox 217 and the superheater 623 sq ft. The firegrate area is 45 sq ft. Tractive effort, at 85 per cent boiler pressure, is 40,300 lb. The engine weighs 104 tons 10 cwt in working order. The weight on each coupled axle is 22 tons 10 cwt, giving a total of 67 tons 10 cwt available for adhesion. The tender runs on six wheels, each of 4 ft 3 in diameter. It has a coal capacity of 9 tons and a water capacity of 4,000 gallons. Its weight full is 54 tons 13 cwt. The weight of engine and tender in working order is 159 tons 3 cwt. One of the most spectacular performances achieved by any of the LMS Pacifics was that of No. 6201 Princess Elizabeth, on November 16 and 17, 1936, when the world's record for fast long-distance steam-hauled running was beaten on two successive days. On the down journey, on November 16, Princess Elizabeth, hauling seven vehicles weighing 225 tons, ran without a stop from London (Euston) to Glasgow (Central), 401.4 miles, in 5 hours 53 minutes 38 seconds, at an average speed of 68.1 miles an hour,

including about fifty service and permanent way slacks. The return journey, on November 17, was even faster. With one extra vehicle and a load behind the tender of 255 tons, the locomotive, again subject to about fifty slacks, ran from Glasgow to Euston in 5 hours 44 minutes 15 seconds, at an average speed of 70 miles an hour. These high average speeds were attained by dint of exceptionally fast uphill running rather than record-breaking on the level and downhill. The highest speeds were 95½ miles an hour on the down and 95 miles an hour on the up journey. Neither locomotive nor coaches were streamlined for these high-speed experimental runs.

This is the fourth article in the series on Modern Engineering Practice.

(Page 252)

The Modern Crane

From the early type of windlass known to the Chinese thousands of years ago there have developed numerous types of crane, stationary and mobile, each designed for a special purpose. This chapter, by F E Dean, includes a photogravure supplement illustrating various types of modern cranes.

(Pages 237-246)

The Modern Crane: Photogravure

Supplement - 3

“LOADING A RAILWAY COACH weighing 30 tons and 63 feet long in the Royal Albert Dock, London. The huge floating crane belongs to the Port of London Authority. Called the London Mammoth, she is registered as a ship at Lloyd's. Propelled by twin screws, she has a gross tonnage of 1,580. She is 191 ft 7 in long and has a beam of 75 ft 3 in.”


(Page 245)

The Modern Crane: Photogravure

Supplement - 4

“AN OVERHEAD ELECTRIC TRAVELLING CRANE. This photograph shows an electric overhead travelling crane, with a capacity of 7 tons, in operation at the Provan Gasworks of Glasgow Corporation. The span between the centres of the rails on which the crane runs is 82 feet. The crane has a height of 84 ft 6 in and is designed for handling coke in skips or grabs.”


(Page 246)

The wooden patch fitted to the BerrimaReservoirs at Kempton ParkThe Pumping Station at Kempton Park

The Pumping Station at Kempton Park

“IN THE PUMPING STATION at Kempton Park, Middlesex, are two of the largest steam reciprocating pumps in Europe. Each engine is of 1,008 horse-power and stands 62 ft 6 in high. Water from the Metropolitan Water Board reservoirs is pumped into a main with a diameter of 48 in. The pumps operated by the Metropolitan Water Board have a total output of 57,477 horse-power. About 87 per cent of the pumping engines use steam power.”


(Page 234)

An Electric Overhead Travelling CraneElectric floating jib crane in Vigo Harbour, SpainOne crane lifts another, Belfast

The Modern Crane: Photogravure

Supplement - 2

“ONE CRANE LIFTS ANOTHER. This photograph shows a giant floating crane in a shipbuilder's yard at Belfast, Northern Ireland. The crane is removing the 200-feet span of an overhead gantry crane, so that it may be inspected and overhauled.”


(Page 244)

Loading a railway coach in the Royal Albert DockAn overhead electric travelling crane, Provan Gasworks, GlasgowThe Breakwater from Ras-el-KerumLMS Pacific locomotive "Princess Elizabeth"CUGNOT'S STEAM TRACTION ENGINE of 1770

Early Steam Coaches

CUGNOT'S STEAM TRACTION ENGINE of 1770 was built tor hauling heavy artillery. The two-cylinder engine is mounted over the single driving wheel and the boiler projects forward of the front wheel. The cylinders have a diameter of 12 in and a stroke of 12 in. The machine cost £800 to build, but was unsuccessful because of the faulty steering due to the disposition of weights over and forward of the guiding wheel.”

(Page 255)

Across the Andes (Part 1)

In the face of unparalleled difficulties, aggravated by the climate, engineers in South America have succeeded in building railways across the world’s second highest mountain range. These include the Peruvian Central Railway, in Peru, and the Transandine Railway, between the Argentine and Chile. One of the most formidable challenges to the engineer has come from the Andes. The engineer has not yet conquered the Andes. He has triumphed here and there, often at the cost of valuable lives. For years men have been trying to force a way over the mountains. The Incas of Peru knew their way by passes, and built narrow tracks through the great Andine valleys, spanning the gorges with primitive suspension bridges woven out of osiers. The Incas were the forerunners of the engineers who first penetrated the Andes in the nineteenth century with the primitive but (in such a country) invaluable pack mule and surveying instruments. Then followed the railroads and bridges. The engineer, when he challenges the forces of Nature, must always have courage; but never did he need that courage more than in his battle with the Andes. As if Nature has resented man’s intrusion, tragedy has stalked the engineer’s efforts to conquer the mountains of Peru. Even when the engineers have seemingly triumphed, their work has not been completed. Nature was waited and then, quickly and terribly, she has swooped down, seeming to take a perverse joy in destroying work that has cost so much in life and labour. The story of man’s trials and triumphs in his onslaught on the Andes is told by C Hamilton Ellis. The chapter is concluded in part 9. This is the second article in the series on Railway Engineers at Work.

(Pages 259-260)

The Peruvian Central railway Near Morococha

The Peruvian Central Railway Near Morococha

“ON A BRANCH OF THE PERUVIAN CENTRAL RAILWAY, near Morococha, the railway reaches its highest point, 15,865 feet above the sea. The line climbs from Callao, on the Pacific coast, and runs via Lima, the capital of Peru, to Oroya. The most difficult section is from Chosica, about 25 miles from the coast, to the Galera Tunnel, 118 miles farther on, and 15,665 feet above the sea. Henry T. Meiggs, of Philadelphia, was the engineer originally responsible, but he died before the work had been completed.”

(Page 259)